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South Africa's unemployment rate 25.5%

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Staff writer ▼ | August 2, 2014
South Africa
Slow growth   Nene: Strikes hit economy in the country

The unemployment rate in South Africa is running at 25.5 percent as the country's economic growth is insufficient to address poverty and inequality, finance minister Nhlanhla Nene said.

Mr. Nene made the remarks while delivering an address at the University of Fort Hare in East London, Estern Cape Province, admitting that "too many people remain without jobs".

The strike in the platinum sector led a 24.7 percent contraction in the South African mining industry in the first quarter of this year, the minister said. This was coupled with a 4.4 percent contraction in the manufacturing sector due to the maintenance of petroleum refineries, according to Mr. Nene.

The mining and manufacturing sectors account for roughly 20 percent of the country's GDP. Supply side disruptions have plagued the domestic economy over the last couple of years, weakening confidence and reducing the level of investment and household consumption.

Private investment grew by only one percent in first quarter of 2014, while private household consumption recorded modest growth of 1.8 percent, Mr. Nene said.

The 2014/15 budget has committed 847 billion rand ($80 billion) over the next three years to address infrastructure backlogs to accelerate public infrastructure investment.

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